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I’m a bit lazy today, not least because I cranked out about 7500 words yesterday on various projects I’m working on, so this isn’t a new piece. It’s one I found in the B Warehouse. If you don’t understand what the B Warehouse is, read to the end and you’ll find out.

Once again I am indebted to the work of the august journal the Daily Express for some invaluable advice.

‘Scientists’ have ‘recently’ discovered five simple lifestyle changes that will control hypertension with no recourse to drug intervention. Allegedly these changes can add several years to your life. Now I’m a pensioner I’m troubled by feelings of mortality, so I read the article with great interest.

Here’s what you need to do. Don’t smoke. Don’t drink. Cut down on your salt intake. Exercise regularly. Eat lots of vegetables and fruit. Wow! Groundbreaking stuff! Whoever would have thought it? I mean to say, I started working in the pharmaceutical industry in the mid 70s, and all these factors in hypertension were known then. Nearly 40 years on ‘scientists’ have ‘recently’ discovered them all over again. Blimey. It must be true.

There’s a catch though. As ever the Excess confuses epidemiology with the health of you as a specific individual. There is absolutely no guarantee that however healthy you make your lifestyle you will live longer. A population following this ‘new’ advice will certainly have a higher average life expectancy, but it may not work for you as a person. Harsh but sadly true. It may be that time’s winged chariot flies a bit faster for you no matter what you do. It might be worth a shot of course, and good luck to you if you give it a whirl, but you may actually be on a hiding to nothing.

It’s not all bad news though. According to another article in the same paper, eating oily fish twice a week is good for you. That came as no end of a surprise to me, I can tell you. Never heard that before. But the jugheads at the Excess go further and actually quantify things. Eat oily fish and your life expectancy goes up by two whole years! Caramba! Fat City!

Except it doesn’t, of course. It’s epidemiology vs individual again. So it may be good for you, and I have no issue with that, except you can die of boredom instead of heart disease or cancer or pestilence. But you as an individual cannot expect to live two years longer than you would have. Sorry about that.

Nearly forgot. B Warehouse. This is slang for the back pocket where you keep your emergency tenner for when you run out of cash in the pub. In this case, I’ve used it to describe the mountain of unposted blogs I have in a file called Pending. But B Warehouse is a bit more fun, isn’t it?